In the July/August Atlantic, James Fallows wrote an illuminating piece on the then-upcoming debates between George W. Bush and John Kerry. For his article, rather than talking to campaign spinners for each side and reporting what they said, he dove into the archival record of each man's debates, and made an astonishing discovery: 10 years ago, George W. Bush was an articulate, forceful debater. Tough to belive, but when Fallows reviewed the tapes of Bush's 1994 debate with Anne Richards, he found that not only did Bush win the debate, but he spoke well.
I believe this article is responsible for the Democratic expectation raising talking point that Bush had never lost a debate (now that he's lost three to John Kerry, this talking point is a little worn out).
video shows what James Fallows reported as a striking deterioration in George W. Bush's speaking skills in last 10 years.
April 19, 2006 Subject:
I think it's meds.
I've been taking antidepressants for several years now, and it seems to me that I've become more likely to occasionally stammer.
Bush on antidepressants? It's not something that they'd want to make public, but I wouldn't necessarily consider it a major scandal, either. If he needs them, I feel much safer with him taking them, even if he sometimes talks funny.
Mind you, I'm not a fan. There are plenty of reasons to hate and fear Bush other than this, and the issues raised here are interesting and important. Everyone should examine the evidence of this film, but don't be guided by its conclusions.
March 27, 2006 Subject:
As a debater, I always want people to misunderestimate me
Having lived in Texas for some 30+ years, I, and other Texans, find it amusing when people speak of Bush's "lack of intelligence". He trounced Ann Richards in a heavily - at the time - Democratic state.
Beneath the "aw shucks" demeanor and the supposed grammatical gaffes is a very shrewd, very erudite politician. As someone who worked in Texas politics for 10+ years, I can assure you the "misunderestimatings", etc., that he uses are quite planned. He feels it throws the opponents off into conflating his speaking with his intelllect, which it does.
Laugh and mock him if you wish, but you only vaildate his effectiveness in your "misunderstimating" of him. And that gives him immense pleasure.
April 4, 2005 Subject:
Ignore the freeper reviews below
All politics aside, this is of interest simply to demonstrate the undeniable, dramatic decline of the US president's mental acuity over the years. This is not haphazardly selected footage - this is a side-by-side comparison of the same man in similar situations a few years apart. The old footage shows Bush to be confident, forceful, and quick. More recent footage shows him to be fumbling and inarticulate, which is documented not only here, but elsewhere, thousands of times in the last four years. This is not an attack - it's an examination of an ostensible leader who is clearly suffering from some sort of premature, progressive deterioration.
March 19, 2005 Subject:
Hello!!! Has anyone maybe taken into consideration that he might be "Faking It." Everyone who has an intellectual constituency wants to sound so cool and smart with their witty insights into the state of the Presidents seemingly deteriorating mental condition. They neglect the fact that the majority of the people who vote don't even care about how articulate a president is- they care about the presidents' decision-making. It's this ability to make the type of tough decisions that no one else wants to that appeals to the people at large. The people who don't have intellectual constituencys, that work hard every day to raise there kids and watch TV. In fact- I wouldn't rule out the idea that most people may even strike a common ground an inarticulate president.
February 7, 2005 Subject:
The clip could well be titled, "How To Michael Moore."
I suppose it might be soothing to people who hate George W. Bush and enjoy counting the ways. But if we're reasoning objectively we have to see that, working at our own pace with the virutally limitless quantity of video clips that is available to us, most of us could just as easily compile a few of them to make an equally compelling case that George Bush is actually MORE articulate than he was ten years ago, or that John Kerry died some number of decades back and was replaced by a look-alike guitar player.
Fortunately, I have a speedy Internet connection, and so the irretrievable portion of my life that I invested to download that silly thing is measured in seconds rather than minutes. I've given it one star -- i.e., four out of a possible five yawns.
October 24, 2004 Subject:
Very well done
the 10 year difference is staggering. I had no idea he was so poignent back in 1994! the decline is very evident, so much so it is scary.
October 18, 2004 Subject:
This kind of info makes our present situation even scarier
This is strong evidence that supports the diagnosis and suspicion of many doctors and liberals. This confirms it for me. There are also books that have been written by doctors about this.
Justin A. Frank's
"Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President"